Claire Milazzo plans to work in the health care industry. So when her health care management class at the University of New Orleans got a chance to tour the new $1 billion University Medical Center in Mid-City, she was excited to get an inside look at one of the most modern operating health care facilities in the region.
“It’s beautiful,” Milazzo said. “I definitely didn’t expect it to be as nice as it is.”
Donald Zimmerman, professor and director of the Health Care Management program, arranged for students in his two undergraduate health care management classes to tour the facility on Oct. 11. University Medical Center opened in 2015 under the management of LCMC Health, the same system that operates Children’s Hospital, Touro Infirmary, New Orleans East Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center.
“It truly represents the state-of-the-art in design and organization,” Zimmerman said of UMC, the successor to the shuttered Charity Hospital, which operated in the New Orleans area as far back as 1736 but closed following Hurricane Katrina.
Zimmerman’s class got an insider’s look at everything from the emergency department and operating rooms to clinical space and administrative offices. “We want people to understand that hospital management isn’t just about theories and perspectives,” Zimmerman said. “It’s about what happens in practice.”
Milazzo said she was impressed by how much design thought was given to patient privacy, from private patient rooms in the emergency department to partitioned spaces for chemotherapy infusion. As a former nursing major who has experience doing clinical rotations, she said she also noticed the number of computers available for nursing staff to complete necessary record-keeping.
In the spring of 2016, UNO enrolled it first students in its brand new undergraduate program in Health Care Management. The University already offers a master's and executive master's degrees in the field as part of its effort to keep up with one the fastest growing professions in the U.S.
Milazzo, a junior, transferred to the UNO from Delgado Community College and chose to switch from nursing to a health care management focus after coming to the realization that her interests align more closely with management than the clinical side.
She said Zimmerman’s classes have been a highlight this fall and the UMC tour only added to that. “It’s very interesting,” she said. “It’s very real-world oriented. It’s my favorite class.”
For more information about UNO’s Health Care Management Program, click here.